(Sabah Newspaper, 15 April 2013)
Atilla and Gengis Khan would be proud.
Afghanistan because of harsh weather conditions and illness and who
were brought to Turkey in 1982 by then-President Kenan Evren, have
been living in their own 300-home village, which they named "Ulupamir",
in Erciş district of Van province.
At first the Kyrgyz Turks worked with agriculture and raising animals
but because of terrorism they became village guards in 1987 to protect
the country and their village. The Kyrgyz Turks participated in many
anti-terror operations and burnished their image by their horsemanship
skills. They rode to operations on horseback in the "cavalry brigade"
they formed and carried their heavy weapons with them on their horses.
They say that they give their full support to the ongoing peace efforts.
Chief village guard Mehmet Karakaş stated that he has been serving as
a village guard for 21 years and supports his family with his salary.
He said "Our choice was to either become guards or provide shelter
to the terror organization. Our population is 2,500 and there are 150
guards. We have no fear but we are against violence.We want to improve
our physical and mental well-being. Since we're guards neither we nor
our children can benefit from any assistance."
Erciş district top left, in Van province.